Terribleminds shares a writing exercise that can improve your writing, which is to take one thing and describe it ten different ways. Try it out. Pick a thing.
Here are the rules:
Focus on it and describe it multiple ways. Ten, as noted.
Each no more than a sentence of description.
(Feel free to choose a real world thing. Say, a lamp in your corner, or the flu you had last week.)
Differ your approaches in how you describe this thing.
Try pinballing from abstraction to factual — from metaphorical to forthright.
Here’s what I came up with:
After sitting in the car for ten hours, I was tired of traveling. My butt was worn-out from French kissing the seat. My neck was stiff like a pole. Like a baby with a wet diaper I was. Like an old and dusty bookshelf I felt. Frustrated and ready to stretch my legs. Connected like a group of organic compounds, waiting for H2O to break the bond.
Now you try!
The goal here is just to flex our descriptive muscles a bit.
By the time you leave the Professional Writing program, you will have crafted more pieces of writing than you will ever know what to do with. It’s good practice. The breadth of experience and expertise you will take from the faculty and curriculum will give you a skill-set in high demand.
But when it comes to working as a freelance writer, there’s just not a lot that coursework can do to prepare you for the day-to-day business situations you’ll find yourself in. Here are some tips to avoid a big mistake I made getting started.
Watch Out For Rocks
When you first start working as a freelancer, it’s easy to jump right in to what you’ve learned, know, and love—creating high-quality content. Be careful though, there are some rocks beneath the surface. The reality of the freelance world—and this is certainly not unique to writers and content developers—is that many clients are not entirely certain about what they want, need, and more importantly what happens on the freelance side to make it happen. This can lead to confusion and friction down the road unless the scope of your work is laid out in advance. It’s in everyone’s best interest for both sides to know what is expected of them. Take the time to sit down and work through what needs to be done.
I consulted with a small, local client on marketing strategy and implementation. At the first board meeting, we spoke generally about direction and metrics/targets for the quarter.
During the next month’s meeting, I shared news about unexpected growth in a different area. One of the members later told me how confused some of the board was to not hear about what we had discussed during the first meeting. We had set no month-to-month targets or even discussed the need for monthly reports. Why would they think that? Because without explicitly outlining how we would handle updates and meetings, each member of the board developed their own expectation. That was my fault.
Come next month, I was prepared with every metric I had. It was much better received. Lesson learned—always manage expectations from the start and think ahead.
Remember Your Training
You are being brought on as a professional. Your input in negotiations is not only valuable, but necessary. The difficulty will come in building and maintaining those relationships. You don’t want to miss a deadline because you could not get information or feedback in a timely fashion. Give yourself breathing room and make sure the client knows what is expected of and from them.
Even if you don’t intend on making a freelance business your primary career, you will find that your skills and working knowledge are too valuable to not exercise on the side—especially in today’s economy. Keep an eye out for workshops and information from the Professional Writing program on how to get started.
“Adrian de Novato has been writing professionally since 2011. He currently writes for the Amway Corporation and has consulted with various business and public advocacy groups. He is a graduate of the professional writing program and lives in East Grand Rapids.”
My Mixxx transforms my computer into a complete DJ system for free, and bobs my head. With Mixxx you’re able to mix, scratch, program, and work with different effects for recording. There is even the option to perform live and record mixes on the go. With Mixxx you can feel like a real DJ because it enables hot cues, looping, translation, and much more.
Reliable sound mixing software is often expensive, but with Mixxx you’re music mixtures and features are limitless, and works on across platforms (Windows XP/Vista/7/8, Mac OS X, Linux). Start a new hobby with Mixxx and DJ at your friend’s next party, or use it academically to create a killer sound track for your next presentation. You don’t have to be a pro, Mixxx is a user friendly program that has you covered. Download it here for free and share your Mixxx.
Photoshop is amazing, but the cost is a bummer. However, there are many other free online photo editors you can use. For instance, Pixlr Editor is a free online image editor. Pixlr offers three application services for their users: Pixlr Editor, Pixlr Express and Pixlr-o-matic, and all three are free.
Use this program to create images for social networks like Facebook, MySpace, Tublr, or image sites like Flickr, Fotolog, Instagram, and Photobucket (which are all free), or even for a class assignment. Even professors can use Pixlr to give stunning presentations. If you’d like to have a free experience, then just click here to go to Pixlr Editor, and create.
We are constantly coming up with new story ideas, but we don’t know if they work until we actually execute them, and place that last period before writing the end. The ability to experiment is important, and sometimes a push is what we need. So, how about a free push from inklewriter? inklewriter is a free online way to create digital follow stories, which later you can publish as an ebook or link and share with the world. It’s a great tool for publication and recognition.
You don’t have to be tech savvy to create, share, or enjoy publishing great adventure, romance, fantasy or any type of stories that interest you. You can use inklewriter individually or collectively. Everyone can benefit from inklewriter. It is also a great way to integrate technology and creativity into the classroom. Clubs, organizations or anyone can use it as a fundraiser by creating books for free and selling them online.
The list of what you can do with inklewriter is endless and absolutely free.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could own a magazine company? What if I told you can and you could do so for free? YES, for free. Create your stunning digital publications and let the world know about them through Joomag. Use Joomag to create a free online interactive magazine. Upload videos, sounds and animations for your audience to enjoy right off the page of your magazine. You can also design catalogs, reports, brochures and photo albums; don’t worry, this is all still free.
It gets better! Create your magazine, and share your link with anyone. There is no limit to how many magazines you can create or how many issues you can have. Your magazine is accessible and compatible on any mobile device. Publishing the next Sports Illustrated or Poets & Writers magazine is a click away.
Looking for an easier way to manage your tasks and run errands? Just Remember The Milk (RTM)!
”Manage tasks quickly and easily. Get reminded, anywhere. Organize the way you want to. Locate your tasks. Work together to get things done. Add tasks wherever you are.”
RTM is a free web-based and cross-platform time management program. RTM syncs with your GPS, saves commonly used locations, receives reminders or alerts from AIM, Skype, SMS, and can postpone tasks. With this program/app you will “never forget the milk or anything else.” Remember Them Milk is Free, why not give it a try?
Stop apologizing, start accepting, embrace your beauty, and take part in the movement. This past summer (2013), two grad students, Katie Manthey and Rachel Seiderman, had the opportunity to experience an internship, and became part of an important movement known as, The Body Is Not An Apology (TBINAA). This is an online activist organization founded by Sonya Taylor. The Body Is Not An Apology is a GLOBAL movement focused on radical self-love and body empowerment. This movement encourages women to own their beauty, love their scars, and accept their appearance no matter shape, size or color. As women we need to stop being beholden to the beauty that society has labeled acceptable, and live comfortably with what we are blessed with.
On February 9, 2011, Sonya wrote a Facebook status following a picture of herself in a black corset. She posted this picture to make it clear that she defines what’s sexy.“In this picture I am 230lbs. In this picture, I have stretch marks and an unfortunate decision in the shape of a melting Hershey’s kiss on my left thigh. I am smiling, like a woman who knows you’re watching and likes it. For this one camera flash, I am unashamed, unapologetic.” This was the status that started the movement, ever since many women have taken part of the movement in various ways, such as posting pictures, writing statuses, and even interning to demonstrate that they are living unapologetically.
Katie Manthey, a 4th year PhD student in Rhetoric and Writing with a concentration in cultural rhetorics, chose this summer internship, because she wanted an opportunity to make a difference. Katie stated that she had been a Facebook follower of TBINAA for awhile, and had been presenting on feminist issues around the body at conferences, and was excited about the opportunity to write for a mainstream audience. As content intern, one of Katie’s responsibilities were to provide two weeks of blog posts. Her blogs had to be original, and related to the theme of the week. When writing these pieces she had a specific audience to consider, which were Tumblr and Facebook.
Rachel Seiderman, a 2nd year MA student in Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing with a concentration in fat activism/acceptance, discovered TBINAA through a spoken word poem on YouTube. Moved by Sonya’s piece, Rachel started following TBINAA on Facebook, and when the call for interns was posted, she knew it was the perfect summer internship. Rachel also held the title content intern, but her duties were slightly different from Katie’s. She was responsible for generating original content for TBINAA’s Tumblr, making suggestions for reblogs, and also providing images to be posted on the Facebook page. (more…)